What results can be expected from gastric balloon therapy?

During the therapy an average 15-25 kg (30-55 lbs) weight loss can be achieved. The amount of weight loss depends on personal attributes and the adherence to the doctor’s orders. Obese patients can lose even 25-35 kg (55-75 lbs), thus preventing serious diseases or alleviating existing disorders.

Who is suitable for the intragastric balloon?

The intragastric balloon is designed to assist with weight loss in people who ideally have 10 to 30 kilograms of weight to lose. The minimum BMI is for individuals with a BMI of 27 and greater.It is also used for people who are not suitable for other forms of weight loss surgery. The use of the Gastric Balloon may assist in reducing weight prior to surgery, therefore reducing the risks associated with surgical procedures on overweight patients.

What happens during the six-month gastric balloon therapy?

The procedure is preceded by a detailed evaluation of the patient’s condition and possible ailments. One great advantage of the gastric balloon is that it can be used safely when serious comorbidities of obesity are present, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or mild heart failure. The patient must be over 18 while the approved age limit is 60.

If everything is in order, the gastric balloon is inserted into place. The procedure is not surgical, therefore it is painless. The fluid present in the balloon which is placed in the stomach does not cause any discomfort!

During the patient’s stay in Budapest we provide dietary advices and help them to find the perfect diet and exercise, which will help lose weight at home.

Based on previous results, it is determined that the body gets accustomed to the balloon after about five months, therefore the rate of weight loss decreases. At this time the removal of the balloon is recommended, which is also completely painless.

How much time is needed for the insertion?

The procedure is concluded in about 30 minutes.

Will the insertion of the gastric balloon cause pain?

The insertion of the gastric balloon does not come with any discomfort, it is done under sedation.

How should I prepare for the medical consultation?

Feel free to ask any questions and discuss your doubts with your doctor. Prepare a list about them prior to the first meeting. It is important that you make a responsible decision about the insertion of the gastric balloon.

How is the gastric balloon retrieved?

After the six-month therapy the completely deflated gastric balloon is retrieved – similar to insertion - through the mouth by an endoscopic procedure under topical anaesthesia/sedation. Neither the insertion, nor the retrieval requires any surgical intervention!

What should I expect after the procedure? Are there any side effects?

Mild nausea, queasiness or gastric hyperacidity can be experienced. Natural methods can be used to ease the situation.

How long is the recovery period?

Slight discomfort can be experienced for two-three weeks. The procedure is ambulatory.

Why does the gastric balloon therapy last exactly six months? Should I “leave” it inside for more?

Our patients frequently ask why the therapy leaves the balloon for exactly six months inside the stomach. Or can I lose more weight if I keep it for 10-12 months? Can I increase its efficiency if I “leave it inside for a little more”?

Our first and foremost reason is that this is the approximate time the human brain needs to discover the “foreign object”, which means the end of the sensation of fullness. According to general experience, 4-5 months after the insertion of the gastric balloon permanent weight loss is more a result of the change in lifestyle, as opposed to the balloon. Therefore, there is no point of living with a balloon inside our body after six months, since the measure of weight loss will not depend on it anymore.

What will I have to change after the insertion of the gastric balloon?

Eating habits: after the insertion of the gastric balloon it is necessary to follow a diet devised by a doctor and a dietitian. They will help to develop and follow correct eating habits.

Physical activity: based on the results of a general evaluation and medical check your doctor composes a recommended exercise schedule for you. The schedule is adjusted to your physical shape and upon the recommendation of your doctor its intensity can be gradually increased.

Will the balloon bother the patient during physical activity or travel?

No, it will mean no interference at all. The patients can move freely, follow any exercise or sporting activity and do not have to give up air travel either.

You would like to lose even more weight with gastric balloon therapy?

After the retrieval of the balloon three months of “rest” is required for the body, after which a new six-month gastric balloon therapy can be started, since the brain can be “tricked” again. Therefore two balloon sessions for six-six months (with a three month break) are more efficient than one balloon therapy for more than six months.

When should I start gastric balloon therapy if I want to get into shape for the summer?

Although summer is only a distant dream for many of us, if losing weight is on the summer check-list, you have to start thinking about it now in order to achieve it by then.

If one wishes to lose a greater amount of weight the usual diets, physical activities and other efforts are usually unsuccessful. However, gastric balloon therapy is the perfect solution! The recipient tricks his/her brain that the stomach is full, therefore eating habits will significantly change. However, to reach the desired effect regular physical activities and a controlled diet have to be followed as well as parts of a complete change of lifestyle! 

Since when gastric balloon therapy is performed?

The first report about an inflatable balloon to be put inside the stomach was published in 1982. In it Danish scientists presented the cases of five obese female patients who achieved weight loss with this method. Over the last 23 years the procedure went through substantial development, and its efficiency and safeness have been justified by several examinations. Nowadays numerous countries all over the world use the gastric balloon technique. In Europe it is most popular in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria, where the therapy helps hundreds of overweight patients every year.

Are there any risks associated with the gastric balloon procedure?

As with all medical procedures there are some risks involved, however, as the gastric balloon is non-surgical it is the safest form of obesity treatment. The primary and in the huge majority of cases the only 'risk' associated with the gastric balloon, is if the balloon were to deflate. The likelihood of this happening is a less than 1% chance and if it were to happen a new gastric balloon would be provided free of charge

Has it happened before that the balloon punctured? What will happen if this happens?

The breaking of the ball is extremely rare, we have experienced it only once. But should it happen, there is no cause for alarm. The liquid inside the balloon is coloured with methylene blue, which would instantly appear in the urine, painting it blue, thus warning the patient about the rupture. In case the patient should not perceive the leak the balloon would deflate and simply exit the body with the excrement when the time comes. It has happened only a handful of times among tens of thousands of cases that the balloon got stuck because of coalescence formed after previous abdominal surgeries. In cases like this surgical retrieval is performed, but let us stress that this kind of incident is highly unlikely.

What are the first steps if I want a gastric balloon?

What kind of examination should I prepare for? As a first step you contact us and receive detailed information about the gastric balloon. Our goal is to answer all your questions which make you uncertain. During the first personal meeting the gastroenterologist presents you the process of the therapy and all the important information. Prior to insertion we perform all the necessary examinations such as blood test, anaesthesia evaluation and if necessary, chest x-ray.

Should you have any additional question, please feel free to Contact Us.

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